The new hospital will be almost 40% larger than the currentfacility, says Michael Schnarre, a principal with Lawrence. Thebuilding will have 167 private patient rooms. "The current hospitalhas semi-private rooms now," Schnarre says. "It will be essentiallythe same number of beds. Private isn't just a trend anymore, it'sin our guidelines. People are demanding more in the marketplace.Private rooms are more desirable, and plus you don't have to worryabout having to assign based on the sex of the patient, or whetherthey get along in the same room."

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He tells GlobeSt.com that the property will also likely havemore than one medical office facility on the campus, including oneattached to the hospital building. "There's some out-lots that weenvision being set aside for more future development, such ascancer centers or rehabilitation buildings. There is a definitetrend to decentralize the outpatient care, and this facility is nodifferent," Schnarre says. The $200 million includes everything forthe hospital building, including $130 million for the construction,but does not include the medical office facilities, he says.

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Earlier this year, it looked like the company was going to haveto wait until 2012 to get a replacement hospital. The company toldthe public that its plans had to be postponed, and would bereconsidered "as early as 2010," the hospital owner said in astatement late last year. "It was determined that the financialperformance of the project could not support the $248 millioninvestment at this time," the company said in the statement.However, that tone changed in a release earlier this year. "Thehospital team has strengthened St. Mary's financial outlook," saidBill Schoenhard, EVP and COO of SSM, in the statement. On Monday,SSM officials deferred questions to St. Mary's staff, who did notreturn calls for comment.

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"Early this year there was a complete reversal by the company,"Schnarre tells GlobeSt.com. "Now we're going to have the newproject complete by 2012." Planning for the project has juststarted, and construction will likely start in fall 2009, he says.A construction management firm has not yet been selected.

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The current facility is landlocked, surrounded by highways,Schnarre says. "I don't know what they plan on doing with thatfacility, but I know they're not going to keep it," he says.

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